Traffic stopping elephant seal gives birth

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The 900 pound elephant seal that brought traffic to a stop on state Highway 37 last week is a new mother, after giving birth to a healthy pup over the weekend.
The seal, named "Tolay," gave birth at Point Reyes National Seashore on Saturday, according to the National Park Service.

On Dec. 28 the seal blocked traffic on Highway 37 near Sears Point. Authorities were able to herd her off the road and back into nearby Tolay Creek, but she made repeated attempts over the next two days to return to the roadway.
When she eventually came up to dry land on Tuesday afternoon, a veterinarian from the Marin Headlands-based Marine Mammal Center was able to sedate her.

The animal was loaded on a truck and taken to Chimney Rock at Point Reyes, the site of an established elephant seal colony.
Before her release, veterinarians used a blood test and ultrasound to determine Tolay was pregnant.
Docents at the park, watching Tolay from an overlook at Chimney Rock, saw a pup next to her Saturday, park service officials said.

December and January are the months when elephant seals typically give birth. Tolay's determination to get to land, even in the wrong location, may have been prompted by her pregnancy, Marine Mammal Center officials said.